By: Sarah Bishop
Posted: September 8, 2023
Category: Daily Devotional
“The same thing occurred in Iconium, where Paul and Barnabas went into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks became believers. 2But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. 3So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who testified to the word of his grace by granting signs and wonders to be done through them. 4But the residents of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles. 5And when an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to maltreat them and to stone them, 6the apostles learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country; 7and there they continued proclaiming the good news.”
And the word of the Lord is spoken boldly and, in all earth, as Paul and Barnabas arrive in Iconium, to them, foreign lands. Iconium, in today’s Turkey, represented a land where Paul knew no one and yet was compelled to speak. They must have journeyed by foot and by strength of will. In his 2 Timothy letter, Paul remembers such trails found in this city and God alone strengthening him to endure. In Iconium, Paul and Barnabas encounter both joyful new believers, yet also faced death. So, they shared the good news for as long and as strong as the Spirit led them. Then they were compelled to journey on to a new land. The good news would not be stopped.
Ever-present Lord, you accompanied Paul and Barnabas to new lands and even stood with them to face hostile people, yet the Holy Spirit compelled them to speak. May such accompaniment, companionship, and strength be ours as well, through Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.